Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

hymnal

[him-nl]
noun
  1. Also called hymn·book [him-boo k] /ˈhɪmˌbʊk/. a book of hymns for use in a religious service.
Show More
adjective
  1. of or relating to hymns.
Show More

Origin of hymnal

1535–45; (in def 1) < Medieval Latin hymnāle, noun use of neuter of hymnālis (adj.); (in def 2) < Medieval Latin hymnālis; see hymn, -al1, -al2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for hymn book

hymn book

noun
  1. a book containing the words and music of hymns
Show More

hymnal

noun
  1. a book of hymns
Show More
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of hymns
Show More
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hymn book

hymnal

n.

c.1500, imnale, himnale, from Medieval Latin hymnale, from ymnus, from Latin hymnus (see hymn). As an adjective, attested from 1640s. Hymnal measure, a quatrain, usually iambic, alternately rhymed, is so called for being the preferred verse form for English hymns (e.g. "Amazing Grace"), but it has been popular in English secular poetry as well, "though it almost always suggests the hymn, directly or ironically" [Miller Williams, "Patterns of Poetry," Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1986].

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper